Neil Patel

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Learning how to use body language with investors is one of the key skills every startup owner must learn.

Body language has remained an essential aspect of communication from the prehistoric period.

The role of non-verbal cues has grown more prominent in everyday communication including its role in the boardroom and pitching investors.

New York Times analysis found that body language impacted 60 to 80 percent of the initial opinion in business encounters.

Studies by Mehrabian concluded that the impact of body language on the overall message was up to 55%. Also the tone and verbal message only account for 38% and 7% of the communication.

Therefore, it is imperative to gauge the weight of body language on converting leads to clients. And getting new investors on board for new and ongoing business projects.

Businesses have to learn to adapt and use body language effectively to get more investment capital in the business.

How do they go about it?

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

The Importance of Body Language

Body language is all spontaneous non-verbal expressions. It is also about posture, gestures, mannerisms, movements, and physical behavior that accompany words and vocal sounds.

Negative body language can signal that the speaker is not honest, confident, or unsure of the idea they are trying to pitch to investors.

Your pitch is supposed to get investors on board with your ideas. And body language is likely to play a significant role as much as your idea.

Allow Investors to Feel Your Passion

Pitching is an emotional job, and you have to sell to your investors the idea that you are into something important that you need them to support.

Most are analytic types who will sniff out passion or the lack of it from afar.

Most of those investors validate a decision with their hearts or guts before turning to the logical side of the pitch, so you have to really wow them with your body language.

Your body language is key to securing an emotional connection with your investors.

You have to find a perfect balance of emoting and stating your facts and figures to allow you to display a natural enthusiasm for your company through physical energy and gestures.

Your aim is to let your body sell consistency with your message. After all, the investors are entrusting you and your company with their money.

Sell a Consistent Message

Why is it important to know how to use body language with investors?

Your investor needs to feel a connection between your verbal message and your body language.

Research at Colgate university using electroencephalography (EEG) reveals that there is a similar brain reaction when one listens to incoherent thought and when one sees gestures that contradict the message.

You do not want to send your investors a message of incoherence when you need to secure their funding, do you?

Many of your investors are more likely to believe your body language to your pitch.

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  • Materials: our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models.
  • Investor and Buyer Access: connect with the right investors or buyers for your business and close them.

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You have to be prepared to send the right message to the investors at each turn using your body language.

When investors are concerned about your company’s product or service, it would be inappropriate to smile as it would indicate sarcasm, which may not augur well with your investors.

The major hurdles you will face while trying to sell a consistent message is that as humans, we are poor judges of the impression we make on others.

And secondly, the pressure of pitching investors can make you act out of tune.

You have to consistently practice with a good coach or even record videos of yourself to learn how to make the right impression and act accordingly under pressure.

Your investors are counting on you to sell a consistent message with your words and body language so that you seem trustworthy and capable.

Exude Confidence

A successful pitcher must learn to send out verbal and non-verbal cues that display status and authority and confidence in the message.

The most effective way to show authority is to exude confidence before the investors.

You can clearly show your confidence to the investors by speaking in a low vocal range, standing tall, holding your head straight, and keeping your shoulders back.

Like the other skills, you have to learn to balance your confidence to not come off as unskilled or outright arrogant in your presentation with investors.

You, therefore, have to include signals of openness, warmth, likeability, and empathy as your investors have to buy you before buying the product or service.

See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Or Acquisition Efforts

  • Fundraising or Acquisition Process: get guidance from A to Z.
  • Materials: our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models.
  • Investor and Buyer Access: connect with the right investors or buyers for your business and close them.

Book a Call

Learn the Investor’s Mood

When selling a pitch to investors in person, either in a virtual meeting, boardroom, or a keynote address from a stage, you have to learn to study their body language to adjust your message to their reactions.

Your conversation deeply relies on how your audience is engaged in a conversation.

When you deliver your presentation, the level of engagement can point out the interest, agreement, and how well your message is being received.

It falls on you to learn how to read body language to convey your message to your investors.

Body signs of agreement inform you to keep up with the same energy level to keep driving your message home.

When there is tension and disengagement, it is time to get back to your audience before you can continue.

You can usually confirm the engagement through a question or find out if they understand your message.

At the end of the day, a pitch is communication between you and the investors in the dual channels of speech and body language.

Ignoring non-verbal communication can ruin a good pitch. This is why it is critical that you know how to use body language with investors.

How to Woo Investors with Body language

Your interaction with the investors from the start to finish will significantly impact whether you secure funding or have to find new investors.

The goal is to secure their approval both by your ideas and covertly with your body language.

You can employ the following tips for a killer presentation and getting ahold of new investors for your firm.

Remember that your body language and attitude are projecting a narrative. if you would like more tips on how to improve storytelling in a pitch deck, check out this video. It has some practical tips you’re sure to find helpful.

Make a Compelling First Impression

A lot hangs in the balance with a first impression. Tet, so little is put into creating an excellent first impression.

Most investors would have made up their minds on whether you are trustworthy, competent, or confident in the first seven seconds.

So, you have to sell an excellent first impression at all costs. First impressions are essentially based on body language and non-verbal cues.

They may be inaccurate but are very powerful. When you are in good books with potential investors, it will be a home run, but when they do not trust you, you’ll have an uphill task getting them onboard with your idea.

It may seem like a hopeless case trying to control the snap judgments the investors make as humans are hardwired judges based on first impressions.

Yet, it is difficult to over-emphasize the role you can take control over the first impression by doing the following:

Attitude Counts: Choose an Attitude You’d Like to Portray

Decide the attitude that is most appropriate for the pitch you want to deliver before entering the room.

Enter into the room with a winning mentality and show your emotions with facial expressions.
Groom for the Occasion

Create a polished look before your investors. There is no prescribed dressing format that you have to adorn as it mainly depends on your industry.

Let the hair, makeup, perfume, and jewelry work in harmony to convey your desired image to clients and investors.

Appear neat, comfortable, and professional so that you can take control of the entire encounter.

How you dress can have a big impact, so include this facet when learning how to use body language with investors.

Maintain a Good Posture

Your posture conveys a lot of information about your state. When you condense your body, you appear to have low energy and lack confidence.

You should enter a meeting with your shoulders and back held high, radiating energy and enthusiasm onto your investors.

Make Eye Contact

Eye contact reveals that you genuinely have an interest in your investors. It can be used to project focus, confidence and develop a deep connection and rapport with potential business partners.

It should be subtly used, and not seem as awkward as a stare.

Master the Handshake

Touch is the most primordial and powerful non-verbal cue. It helps connect with people; even a short momentary touch can create a human bond.

A handshake can be one of the most effective ways of creating a human touch.

There is a need to make the handshake more connective than just a ceremonial device to create an effect.

Some studies have shown that people are two times more likely to remember you if you shake their hand.

In fact, people are more friendly to those people with who they have shaken hands with. When you meet possible investors, just shake their hands and let the handshake do the magic.

Understand the importance of this simple tip when learning how to use body language with investors.

Follow the following guidelines for a more effective handshake.

  • Make sure your hands are free to shake hands
  • Offer a hand with the palm facing sideways
  • Shake hands firmly but avoid crushing hands
  • Look directly into the venture capitalist eye and smile
  • Make sure you have a palm-to-palm contact
  • Start talking before you let go, “It is a pleasure to meet you,” is often sufficient to start a conversation.

Keep in mind that in fundraising storytelling is everything. In this regard for a winning pitch deck to help you here, take a look at the template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

Use Hand Gestures to Accompany Your Speech

Hand gestures can help boost confidence, and let the speech flow naturally as well as impact the audience.

Hidden hands create a sense of tension and make one look untrustworthy.

The sign has remained a stark reminder of danger as it has been programmed into the subconscious that a concealed hand may carry a weapon from the prehistoric period.

The arms should be at waist height when they are not being used for hand gestures that accompany the speech.

It is often best to produce the gesture from a horizontal-centered position while directly facing the audience.

use the gesture to reinforce a message to the venture capitalists. You can physically illustrate a point by rotating palms and displaying candor.

You should minimize or totally avoid any gestures that reveal that tension, aggression, or becoming defensive as they could cost your image and likability.

In general, you should avoid fidgeting with jewelry, loosening collars to ventilate, rubbing hands together, or pulling hair back as they show to your audience that you are nervous.

Be Conscious Of Appearing Aggressive Unknowingly

Having hands akimbo can be a power pose that is often interpreted as intimidating and aggressive.

Other aggressive tendencies may include finger-pointing and clenched fists.

Crossing arms or holding an object between you and the investors shows a level of defense that makes the investors feel unwelcome.

You should open your body and face the venture capitalists directly to show a welcome gesture through the entire pitch.

Hand gestures can be a great way to communicate with potential business partners.

The more the hand gesture, the more energy the investors feel in the conversation. The movements can portray more enthusiasm and keep your audience focused.

But, as with everything else, you have to keep it optimal as over gesturing makes you appear less believable, or even less robust.

There is an interesting equation of hand and arm movement with energy. If you wanted to project more enthusiasm, you could do so by increasing gestures.

On the other hand, over-gesturing especially when hands are raised above the shoulders can make you appear erratic and less powerful.

Display Leadership and Authority

Investors do not only look at the idea that is being pitched, they also look at the authority and the friendliness of the pitcher.

Therefore, you have to send out signals of being warm, candid, empathetic, and deeply connect with the investors with your body signals.

They look out for this signal to have someone they’d enjoy working with and trust with their finances.

You can portray friendliness with a genuine smile as it signals approachability, friendship, and cooperation. Understand what are these nuances when practicing how to use body language with investors.

The smile should come off slowly and crease the corner of your eyes since fake smiles never reach the eye, and it can easily be spotted out and make you lose out on your pitch.

Use open palm gestures to radiate candor or lean forward to show interest in the venture capitalist’s questions.

You can further add a head tilt to show as an indication you are listening. Nod in agreement when an idea captivates you.

Non-verbal cues can be the key to unlocking investments from venture capitalists when you make a pitch.

It is nice to be prepared as it is more difficult to fake body language, which is believed to be more honest in a conversation.

Keep your head held up high as you pitch your ideas and let the non-verbal cues covertly convert the investors.

You may find interesting as well our free library of business templates. There you will find every single template you will need when building and scaling your business completely for free. See it here.

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Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want help with your fundraising or acquisition, just book a call

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